Nets (often hand-tied) are very useful for making collections of bubbles and (depending on the size of the net openings) stable airborn foams that are a delight to watch and chase.Nets are especially useful in high-wind situations where medium and giant standalone bubbles don't stand a chance.
Types of NetsEdit
There are two main styles of net tying. One method (shown below) has a top string from which other strings are suspended. Adjacent strings are tied together which results in diamond-shaped cells and naturally can make an equilateral triangle.
The other method uses a netting needle (easy to make) as shown here. This method is slightly trickier to learn, but we are told that with a little practice that nets can be made more quickly with this method and that getting correctly-sized cells trivial.
Nets in Action (Videos)Edit
Helpful tips from the pros:
Juice usage. Nets use up a lot of juice because at any given size there is a lot more wick material in-use than with the same size tri-string.
Foam. Nets tend to foam up the bubble juice. So, you may want to be prepared in advance to deal with the solution foaming up. You can use a strainer to skim off the foam, or a small torch to kill it, or a misting bottle that has dry alcohol on it.
Openings. The smaller the net openings are, the sturdier and smaller-celled the foam will be and the more juice that the net will use. It has been reported that net openings of 1.5 inches (about 3.8 centimeters) are especially good in high-wind situations. More typical openings are in the range of 2-3 inches (5 to 7.5 centimeters) or 5 inches (13 cm) .
Net size and shape. Because bubble nets are so heavy when full of juice, 48 inches (120 cm) or less is recommende for the top-string. A triangular overall net shape seems preferred.
Wick material. Several people recommend using 100% bamboo yarn for nets as it is lightweight and carries less juice than cotton string or yarn. Cotton nets are especially heavy/drippy. People that have made nets with both cotton twine and lighterweight materials (such as lightweight bamboo yarn or mercerized cotton crochet yarn -- which is lighter than most twines) consistently prefer the nets made with the lighterweight materials. As odd as it may seem, using lower-capacity materials sometimes results in better output than when a net is made of a higher-capacity material.
Nets are quite forgiving. Homemade nets can be quite irregular and still work well. Apparently, triangular shape is preferred for the net.
Some preliminary tests indicate that bubble juice that may not work well for giant bubbles can create excellent bubbles with a net -- including solutions of water and dish detergent with little or no added polymer. (EDITOR: test this to confirm).
Basketball net? One visitor reports that the net from a toddler's basketball hoop worked well!
Don't miss Glowby's net-making tutorial here.
This YouTube video demonstrates an easy-to-do technique for making a net:
A search in the SBF, the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo Group archives would be worthwhile.
NOTES TO EDITOREdit
[EDITOR: If you know of other techniques for making nets, please add it to this article or contact the editor.]
[EDITOR: We are looking for recommendations of materials such as cotton-mesh shopping bags that might be re-purposed for use as bubble-making nets]